As a way to share some of the better aspects of living here, here are some pictures from BC, most of which are from the last few days and some socially isolating long drives and fishing trips.
CN: Description of mild medical procedure and wound care, mention of needles.
So much has happened in the last month.
I made it to BC with remarkably little trouble. My birds came through ok, CJ was a darling quiet girl on the plane, and my stuff arrived just a few days after I did. The move itself went remarkably smoothly. The guys who came to load up the truck were nice and very professional. They loaded everything up in under an hour. When the truck arrived here, everything was unloaded nice and quick too. All my stuff arrived in one piece and all of it arrived. Continue reading “Greetings From BC”
Things have been intense.
As I mentioned, I was accepted to UFV to study Agricultural Technology.
It’s a really exciting move for a lot of different reasons.
The program itself seems amazing. Part of it includes a certification in Livestock production with many of the classes involving actually working hands on with different animals. So far everyone I’ve met in the department is really nice and helpful. When I was visiting my boyfriend, they even showed us around the school barn building where they had piglets and chickens, and a whole greenhouse full of student grown projects.
It would mean a chance not just to learn about farming both from the technical side and business side, but also means a chance to make connections with the agricultural community itself which could mean opportunities to fulfill my dream of a little piece of land to farm and live on. Continue reading “SO MUCH TO DO!”
There are some big exciting changes coming my way.
As you might know, circumstances beyond my control forced me into a situation where my best option was at least temporarily, moving back in with my family. I’ve also been seeing a really great guy for coming on two years, who also happens to live clear across the country. And it’s a pretty big country.
Moving out there, or him moving out here, were made difficult by both of us being on disability. We can’t easily leave either province without losing financial support or worse, coverage for medication. What’s worse, is you can’t even leave the province for ore than 30 days without losing your coverage, so even when we can make a point to visit, we are restricted in the amount of time we can spend together.
Both of us have long dreamt of having a little piece of land where we could have our own little farm and do our various arts.
Well, recently I managed to take a big step towards that dream and towards the possibility of being together in one place for a bit longer.
I’ve just been accepted to the University of the Fraser Valley to study Agriculture Technology!
It’s a really interesting program that gives students a good introduction to farming. Students can choose either a horticulture or livestock certification track, and learn all about things like how to use farming equipment, how to recognize and treat different livestock diseases, pest management, and so on. There is a component where you do a practicum working on a farm itself.
They know about my disabilities and are willing to work with me to accommodate them.
The best part is that as long as I’m in school, I can be down in BC and still receive disability. I just have to come back during any time periods when I’m not enrolled in classes.
I’m really excited about all this. It means I get to spend a lot more time exploring this amazing area with my wonderful guy. We get to see what it’s like to be together when we also have our own stuff to do, which is an adventure all in itself.
It’s also a little scary.
I moved for university the first time, but while it wasn’t close to where my family lives, it was still within a day’s drive away. While out in BC, my family will actually be closer to London England than to me. It’s moving to a whole new province. A different time zone. Heck, a different coast.
Trying to figure out the logistics is a little frightening as well. I can’t move all my things, since I am coming back for some months, but I still need to bring a fair amount with me. At the very least my office things, my clothing, and some of my art supplies. Not to mention my birds!
I’m going to be trying hard to sell of as much of my art as I can to help fund the move, not to mention getting a fair bit of writing done.
I look forward to getting to write about my adventures on the West Coast and in my studies.
It is quite a bit different from how it was the first time. For one thing, while I still intend to do as well as possible, there is a lot less pressure about grades. If I don’t get the top GPA, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I complete the courses and learn as much as possible.
I am also enrolled as a disabled student, meaning this time I actually get to see about getting accessibility for my conditions on an official basis. It’s also the first time I am going to school with my ADHD medicated.
I’m also 32, as opposed to the young 18 I was when I first started.
This time, school is covered by OSAP, a student loan, which with this and disability, means a lot more paperwork being involved.
The school is also quiet a bit different. Unlike the University of Ottawa which has some longer history behind it, UFV has only been an official university since 2008. Not only that, but the actual number of students is much much smaller, which means so will the class sizes. Despite that, the campus is spread out across a few different cities, although the majority of my classes will be in the same one I will be living in.
I am so excited that starting in January, I get to be a Sasquach!
Hurt by Hertz
Would you pay $500 to drive a Kia Soul for two days?
Ya, me neither, and yet that’s exactly what happened to me this past September thanks to the Hertz Car Rental at the Abbotsford Airport. Continue reading “Hurt by Hertz”
I haven’t been online much in the last month and a half.
Part of that was the fact that I was working hard on a variety of outdoor projects for my family. Not only managing most of the garden, which included having to come up with some way to curtail two tomato plants that started growing out of control, ending up taller than me. The part that took the majority of my time though was a water feature I agreed to design and build for them.
It was the kind of work that ended up taking all of my energy. I would spend my day performing manual labour, and by the time the sun set I would be so exhausted that the only energy I would have left is to feed myself and collapse on a patio chair to read a few chapters before falling asleep hours earlier than usual. Continue reading “BC Adventures”
As the weather’s been warming up, my thoughts have turned to my garden. One of the hard parts about leaving Ottawa was also leaving behind the wonderful community garden and oven and all the amazing people involved with it. I have found gardening helpful in helping me to relax, which may seem trivial but is actually essential to managing my health, and actually surprisingly difficult for me. My parent’s garden is something they have been working on for some time. There are several elements put together painstakingly and so I worried about the possibility of getting a space in it. But luck was on my side and with a little persuasion, I was granted a section to do with as I pleased, provided the end result was also attractive and fit with the overall garden aesthetic.
Earlier this summer, I wrote about my on-coming homelessness.
After I wrote that article, I went into gear getting myself on the subsidized housing list, getting endless notes and forms from my doctors stating my disabilities, my accessibility needs, the fact that it was medically dangerous for me to either go back home, or end up in a shelter, not to mention looking for a place to go. At the start of August it seemed I had a place, then less than two weeks later it seemed that it was not to be, then it looked like I had found a place not just for myself but for two others – but they received over six applications and decided to go with someone else. For a month, what I was going to be doing for housing kept being jerked around. My landlord agreed to extend the lease two weeks to at least give me until mid-September to find a solution.
In the end, I was left with moving back to the Niagara Area, with my parents.
This year, I’ve been spending a lot of time building different things. I’ve had to start over in a lot of ways, and things are still shifting pretty dramatically for me. While things are unstable, it has given me an opportunity to learn how to do things I never really imagined possible.
Today I managed to see one project come to fruition. I built a Little Free Library (not yet registered in part because I can’t actually afford to) and it’s been installed at the Community Garden and Oven that I’m a member of.
CN: mentions of suicidal ideation
For the last little while, I’ve been struggling quite a bit. I’ve been trying desperately to fix the situation I was left in last year. I’ve been just barely getting by with help from friends, by taking out more debt, and by surviving off of stores I’ve had sitting by just in case.
Rather than getting any easier however, things have just been getting worse. My roommate had to move to BC for work and while I was able to find someone to take over his room, the rental agency had issues with him replacing my former roommate on the lease. I couldn’t very well leave my old roommates name on it, and my own financial situation means they are not willing to have it be in my name alone.
As such, I had to give my notice for the end of summer.
I knew the rental situation in Ottawa had gotten worse in the years I’ve been living at this place, but even so I was unprepared for the reality I am facing. The rent costs have skyrocketed to such a point, where $300 over what disability considers a reasonable housing allotment gets me a room in a house with six other people, and I can forget about the house being accessible, meaning I have no idea what to do with my wheelchair, let alone how to be able to live in a place I can’t physically navigate.
Essentially, the way things stand right now, at the end of August I am homeless.